Myths and Facts about Captain Bill Robertson
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Myths and Facts about Captain Bill Robertson
It is now more than 25 years since Captain Bill started the Free Zone movement and soon after that he founded the Ron’s Orgs Network in 1984. Ever since then he and his activities have been Black PR’ed. First and foremost of course by the Church of Scientology and its willing helpers, but also by other terminals and delivery lines in the Free Zone. The Church of Scientology, after many years of hushing up the matter, has changed strategy and is virtually brainwashing members and staffs about how bad a person Captain Bill was (as they have with David Mayo since that time also) and how squirrelly consequently Ron’s Org must be. They sure do a good job of it, or let’s say many of those subjected to it seem to have taken it in without question!
The result is that now many who leave the Church and turn up on FZ lines are publicizing their opinions, and think very badly about Ron’s Org and Captain Bill or are at least reluctant to look. Amazingly, many do not really question what they have been told, but maybe it is too much to be asked to discard all that you have heard in your “spiritual home” – because for most people this is what the CofS was to them – wholesale. One needs to sort out what can still be kept as stable data and what to exchange for new data.
We very much would like to help in this process and so we shall take up a few rumours and 3rd party data that have been going around regarding Captain Bill
1. Captain William Branton Robertson
Like other persones Captain Bill Robertson (or “Captain Bill” as he was mostly known, or CBR for short) got invalidated by the CoS. Captain Bill Robertson was quite close to LRH. You can read the story of his life at http://www.ronsorg.com/english/billrobertsonenglish.htm.
So let us here point out some important points about him:
- CBR had an intense technical training. He did the Class VII course and internship in Saint Hill around 1966 and was appointed Director of Review by LRH. Later on the Apollo he did his Class VIII course.
- CBR did many missions to various orgs and AOs. He also held at various times temporary CO posts, e.g. at the Flag Bureaux in Clearwater around 1980. He was assigned several Power- conditions for his accomplishments. A commendation for one mission is mentioned in FO 2376 of March 1970.
- CBR was awarded the rank of “Right Arm” (RA), granted the title of Captain and he was 2nd Deputy Commodore (1st deputy was Mary Sue Hubbard). He also as one of very few people was awarded the Sea Org Officer’s Dirk. Finally, with the Flag Conditions Order 381-1 of April 30, 1975, he gained another special award by LRH: "Captain W. B. Robertson, Right Arm rank, is hereby awarded the status of Kha Khan for excellent duty as Captain of Flag ship Apollo and a long career of success and high statistics in the Sea Organization." Originally in the times of the Mongols “Kha Khan” meant that a person who was Kha Khan will be forgiven the death penalty ten times – in the Sea Org it changed to mean that a Kha Khan could get away with nearly everything and still had Ethics protection. Of course this did not mean an invitation to behave like a criminal, but was a symbol of the high trust LRH had regarding this person.
So we can clearly see that LRH put his trust in Captain Bill to a degree that exceeded most other of his staff. And also that Captain Bill was a very highly trained terminal, both technically and administratively. How probable is it that LRH was so wrong in his estimations regarding CBR that he in true fact was not his best staff member but SP?
Figure it out for yourself. (The Church explanation that LRH was such a special being that in his vicinity even the case of SPs was “blown away” temporarily. That is not very convincing – given that often CBR worked far away from LRH, and given that there were however quite a few SP declares in those times of people who were really anti-social and worked close to LRH whose cases were obviously not “blown away”. Wouldn’t we rather expect that LRH was such a special being and knew so much about people that he would soon discover an SP amongst his staff? So let’s count the CofS explanation as “an extremely poor attempt to explain away outpoints in their own story.”)
2. The legitimacy of founding the Free Zone
We do not know exactly when and to what degree LRH became aware of the fact that the CoS was infiltrated and might be taken over by people who had other aims than the best interests of Scientology and Scientologists. There have been incidents that must have given rise to believe in such scenarios, e.g. in 1972 a CIA member that had come aboard as a Scientologist was uncovered. There is ample reason to believe that relatively early LRH must had at least the concern that the whole set-up might go down the drain because of this, and of course he took precautions.
CBR himself told about two episodes that point to this. One was that one day on the ship LRH talked to him about the problem of stepping out of the game without giving Scientologists too much of a loss of the “symbol” of himself as a person in flesh and blood. You can watch the lecutre "Famous people I have known" here
But more interesting is the following story, which was delivered to us by Allen Wright, who himself was on the ship. CBR once told him this:
CBR was working at Flag. One day he was ordered to immediately come to the Old Man who was living in seclusion – no one but a few insiders knew where – in California. Bill traveled to L.A., was brought to the place blindfoldedand after having been told that the Old Man was ill, was let into his bedroom. After ordering out the other people, LRH sat up in his bed, explained to Bill that he was not really very ill but had used this as an excuse and spoke with him in confidence. He told him that it might be that he will lose the control of his command and communication lines. Should that happen, CBR was to go out of the CoS and start the game anew outside. As a proof that LRH was still in control, he would send CBR a personal comm, something that CBR would know that it really was from LRH himself, once every 6 months.
Some time later, probably 1981, CBR was in AOLA for some reason. He went out of a room and saw LRH at the other end of the corridor, accompanied by two SO guards. When LRH saw CBR, he turned his back toward him, and CBR immediately knew that this meant “this is not a comm I am originating to you – it does not count for our agreement.” That was the last time CBR saw him, soon afterwards he left the CofS and the rest of the story you can read in his Debrief in the Sector 9 book, http://www.freezone.de/english/cbr/e_cbr_db.htm.
Recently we got another confirmation that LRH indeed intended an alternative in case of a take-over:
From a lecture Valerie Stansfield (from the Californian Association of Dianetic Auditors) gave on the Free Zone Conference in Pasadena 2009:
“The story of the name Free Zone – I spoke to Ernie Martin about it, and he said that in 1973 Ron had called him aside and told him that things were getting tough, and if they were ever gonna have any problem they should start a Free Zone of Scientology, and apparently then Bill Robertson was told the same thing. And they took that on a mission, and that’s why Captain Bill used the term ‘Free Zone’ when he was first... he was the first one to really use the term the way you are using it here.”
(Question from the audience:) “So, the ‘Free Zone’ was actually originated by LRH?”
“Yes, it was originated by LRH.”
Some useful links additional to the ones given in the text:
Here you can find a lot more data about and mostly from CBR: http://www.freezone.de/english/cbr/e_cbrpg.htm
Robert Dam, Church New OT V, on Ron’s Orgs and CBR:
Article (Shortend Version) by Dr. Otfried Krumpholz from the “Floating Needle” (Russian FZ magazine)